If we do decide to be consistent in praying for others, guess what? It will be hard at times. You may go through a "dry" period. On day 8 you may not be "feeling it" like you did on day 2. You may think you are "doing something wrong". More likely, you are realizing that we are in a spiritual battle. The term "Church Militant" is used for a reason. As baptized Christians, we have joined with Jesus Christ in His mission. He came to seek and save the lost. Prayer is one way we participate in that. So the world, the flesh, and the devil will wage war against us too. Jesus, in Matthew 26:41 tells the disciples, "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Our blessing is that we have the Hoy Spirit with us to strengthen us for what the Father calls us to. So don't be discouraged. Don't grow faint.
Below are some helpful passages from the Catechism to encourage you and give guidance. Also , check out the "Resources" page on this site for additional sites, books, and groups to assist you in your prayer and in praying for others.
Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and He himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in His name. The "spiritual battle" of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.
In the battle of prayer, we must face in ourselves and around us erroneous notions of prayer. Some people view prayer as a simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words and postures. Many Christians unconsciously regard prayer as an occupation that is incompatible with all the other things they have to do: they "don't have the time." Those who seek God by prayer are quickly discouraged because they do not know that prayer comes also from the Holy Spirit and not from themselves alone.
The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. It can affect words and their meaning in vocal prayer; it can concern, more profoundly, him to whom we are praying, in vocal prayer (liturgical or personal), meditation, and contemplative prayer. To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for Him and lead us resolutely to offer Him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve.
The most common yet most hidden temptation is our lack of faith. It expresses itself less by declared incredulity than by our actual preferences. When we begin to pray, a thousand labors or cares thought to be urgent vie for priority; once again, it is the moment of truth for the heart: what is its real love?Sometimes we turn to the Lord as a last resort, but do we really believe He is? Sometimes we enlist the Lord as an ally, but our heart remains presumptuous. In each case, our lack of faith reveals that we do not yet share in the disposition of a humble heart: "Apart from me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
"Pray constantly . . . always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father." St. Paul adds, "Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints." For "we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing." This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love. This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving facts of faith about prayer.
It is always possible to pray: The time of the Christian is that of the risen Christ who is with us always, no matter what tempests may arise.36 Our time is in the hands of God. St. John Chrysostom said, “It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop, . . . while buying or selling, . . . or even while cooking.”
Prayer is a vital necessity. Proof from the contrary is no less convincing: if we do not allow the Spirit to lead us, we fall back into the slavery of sin. How can the Holy Spirit be our life if our heart is far from him? St. John Chrysostom said, “Nothing is equal to prayer; for what is impossible it makes possible, what is difficult, easy. . . . For it is impossible, utterly impossible, for the man who prays eagerly and invokes God ceaselessly ever to sin.” And St. Alphonsus Liguori adds, “Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned.”
Prayer and Christian life are inseparable, for they concern the same love and the same renunciation, proceeding from love; the same filial and loving conformity with the Father's plan of love; the same transforming union in the Holy Spirit who conforms us more and more to Christ Jesus; the same love for all men, the love with which Jesus has loved us. "Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He [will] give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.” As Origen said, “He "prays without ceasing" who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying without ceasing.”
NOTE: Please take time to check out each page here. Bookmark this site. Come back periodically. If you are like me, at different times/seasons you will find various tips and information helpful.
Copyright © 2023 Two By Two Prayer - All Rights Reserved.